It’s my neighbor Clément C., a music teacher at Collège Regina Assumpta, ideaman and founding president of the Ahuntsic en Fugue festival who put me in contact with Celya B .. She currently oversees the media relations and social media communications of this young festival organized “to create a concert space dedicated to chamber music” in Ahuntsic. We then met on the forecourt of the St-André-Apôtre Church, site of the 2015 edition’s first concert.
Celya and her older sister were born in Algiers. Their father was a journalist and radio host. The family fled the country in the first half of the black decade, fearing that the public statements of the father would imperil them. After a brief stay in France, where the prospects seemed unpromising, they arrived here when Celya was only two-year-old.
Her parents have done pretty well here, but not in the type of professions they occupied in Algeria. Celya is also doing well, having finished high school at Regina Assumpta and completed a CEGEP diploma in health sciences. However, she realized that this field was not for her. After a first year of university studies in industrial relations that, she considers, have made her more mature, she will begin a Bachelor of Laws from the University of Sherbrooke in the Fall 2015. She expects to live some degree uprooting in this town. Indeed, when I asked what Ahuntsic meant to her, her response was "family". Still, she intends to continue talking every day with her older sister, who is a pharmacist in the neighborhood.
Celya is also involved in the FestiBlues held each summer in the Ahuntsic Park. After a first presence as a volunteer in 2010, she was hired as staff in 2011, then as human resources coordinator for the 2015 edition.
She is also involved in the organism Seize Your own Future, which "aims to transform the young women of today into leaders, encouraging them to develop their leadership and make informed choices in their lives and their careers." She writes on the organization’s website and promotes it through social media.
In addition to all these activities, she is coach of a good level synchronized swimming team at R2P Aquatic Club. She had previously practiced this sport at the Club Aquatique Pirahnas du Nord (CAPN) based at the Sophie-Barat swimming pool.
Although she is solidly rooted here and very involved in the community, and despite the fact that she has not visited Algeria much, she realized that her ties to her birth country are still strong because her best friends of the moment are also of Algerian origin. Will that change after a few years in the Eastern Townships?